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Old Testament Commentary Survey, 5th Edition

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Leading Old Testament scholar Tremper Longman III provides students and pastors with expert guidance on choosing a commentary for any book of the Old Testament. The fifth edition has been updated to assess the most recently published commentaries, providing evaluative comments. Longman lists a number of works available for each book of the Old Testament, gives a brief indication of their emphases and viewpoints, and evaluates them. The result is a balanced, sensible guide for those who preach and teach the Old Testament and need help in choosing the best tools.

The Author

  1. Tremper Longman III

    Tremper Longman III

    Tremper Longman III (PhD, Yale University) is Distinguished Scholar and Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at Westmont College. Before coming to Westmont, he taught at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia for eighteen years. He has served in...

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"[This book] has been a very useful tool, so it is great to have it in an updated 5th edition. Anyone buying commentaries ought to get this book as Longman gives assessment of the major commentaries with a particular interest in evangelical commentaries, which pay attention to the theology of the books in question."

Ray Van Neste,

Preaching (Annual Survey of the Year's Best Bibles and Bible Reference, 2013)

"I bought the first edition [of Old Testament Commentary Survey] when it was published in 1991, and I have purchased every edition since then. . . . If you preach and teach Scripture and are not familiar with this volume, you need to be. It will save you time and money, helping you purchase or borrow the best commentaries for whatever Old Testament book you are studying. For each Old Testament book, Longman lists and rates the best options, using a one- to five-star scale. He also annotates his listing, providing two- to four-sentence remarks on each commentary. . . . The next time you teach an Old Testament book (which I pray is soon), make sure to invite three or four Old Testament professors into your study . . . via their commentaries. If you're not sure who to invite to the table, let Tremper Longman III . . . offer you some advice."

Steve Mathewson,

The Gospel Coalition

"[This] is the book you need to make discerning decisions about purchasing Old Testament commentaries. . . . If you own a previous edition, you will certainly want this one. Longman has added evaluations of many new commentaries. . . . This well organized book ends up being a buyer's guide for any pastor who must discernibly limit his purchase to what he needs and what he is equipped to handle. . . . When it comes to studies in the Old Testament, [this book] will be a huge assist to your ministry. I had the fourth edition of this resource previously, which I went to frequently in both seminary and my first pastorate. I am grateful to have this fifth edition now and will be using it just as frequently. . . . With Tremper Longman's Old Testament Commentary Survey you will save money and avoid headache as you find helps for expositional preparation."

Joey Cochran,

Pastors Today blog (LifeWay)

"If you want to know what a leading biblical scholar thinks about a particular commentary, there are no better resources than the Old Testament and New Testament Commentary Surveys published by Baker Academic. . . . The books are updated on a regular basis to include the most recent commentaries. . . . Having two respected scholars weigh in on most available English commentaries will give you much food for thought in choosing one. Along the way, the authors also share some insightful wisdom about commentaries in general."

Christopher Reese,

Pastors Today blog (LifeWay)

"[This] is the most thorough, up-to-date Evangelical survey of Old Testament commentaries. It surveys commentaries from across the whole theological and critical spectrum, but it evaluates them from an Evangelical perspective. . . . This volume is the most complete up-to-date assessment of Old Testament commentaries."

John F. Brug,

Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly

"Commentaries appear on the market every month, designed to meet a wide range of needs for a wide range of people. For those afraid of drowning in the sea of biblical scholarship, Tremper Longman's book is a life vest. His Old Testament Commentary Survey is a one-size-fits-all for a discipline full of tailor-made commentaries. It is one book that will save both time and money. Busy church leaders and students on a tight budget cannot afford to buy books indiscriminately. They need to know--and quick!--which commentaries are worth their time and money. With papers to write, sermons to prepare, and Bible studies to lead they ought to have a trusted expert close at hand who can point them to the very best resources. Tremper Longman III is that expert. . . . With just a quick glance, readers can easily select the best Old Testament commentary on any given book. . . . His lists cover the full range of perspectives from conservative to critical and he does not shy away from giving kudos to books that are not authored by Evangelicals. . . . I would highly recommend this resource for pastors, seminary students, and Bible teachers at any level who are serious about understanding Scripture."

Carmen Imes,

For Christ and His Kingdom blog (Wheaton College)

"Anyone searching for commentaries will immediately recognize the book's value."

Douglas J. Kuiper,

Protestant Reformed Theological Journal

"[Longman] has provided a great starting place for any minister or layperson who is looking for the best commentaries available for each book of the Old Testament. . . . [His] method is very helpful because it enables every person to approach this book and recognize what commentaries are best suited for them. . . . Old Testament Commentary Survey offers the reader a look at some of the most important commentaries available in Old Testament studies. . . . This resource is invaluable and needs to be consulted by anyone who wants to take the Bible seriously."

Matt Manry,


"[Longman] offers a helpful updated appraisal of commentaries on the OT. . . . [I] am delighted to recommend this volume as an essential tool in discerning how best to select volumes to consider for building a commentary library of the Old Testament. . . . Longman . . . has done a fantastic job since the first printing of aiding the layman, pastor, and scholar alike (within the broad tent of Evangelicalism) in trying to wade through the multiplicity of commentaries on the market."

Rick Waldholm Jr.,

blog (

Praise for Previous Editions

"This little book is an excellent aid for the study of the Old Testament. It is more than a bibliography; it is an annotated listing of many of the most important resources available in English. . . . A 'must' for any serious student of the Bible."

Dianne Bergant, CSA,

The Bible Today

"If you are preparing a new sermon series and looking for advice on commentaries, you must consult . . . the Old Testament Commentary Survey. . . . [It] will help to save you lots of money in the long run."

Semper Reformanda

"Skillfully navigate[s] the dense terrain of the commentary world and offer[s] sage advice for those engaged in biblical study. . . . The format of Longman's volume is . . . user-friendly. . . . Readers will certainly be helped in making informed decisions about how best to spend both their time and money."

Mark R. Stevenson,

Emmaus Journal

"A bibliographic tool worth consulting."

International Review of Biblical Studies

"[Longman] does for Old Testament ministers and theological students what D. A. Carson accomplishes for those of the New Testament in his New Testament Commentary Survey. Taken together, these two guides cover commentaries on the entire Bible. . . . [Longman's] annotations are . . . very helpful to sort out theological perspectives and methodological approaches (as these inevitably influence one's exegesis and interpretation) of a seemingly endless list of Old Testament commentaries. . . . This short guide will be very useful for building one's theological library, and for directing theological students to the best commentaries in English."

Pierre Constant,


"This is a very helpful annotated bibliography for beginning students or busy ministers, lay or ordained. . . . This book will be of great benefit to those in search of works on biblical books, but not sure where to find them."

The Bible Today